Monday, May 19, 2014

{Tuesday's 10} Binder Zoo

{Tuesday's 10} post series will include listings of 10. Possibly a top ten list, ten photos, ten ideas, ten thoughts on a topic, etc. I am excited to use this post to share my life and interests and I hope you enjoy reading my collections of 10! 

Ah, vacation! The loveliness of having daddy home 24/7 and having him part of all that we do.  It is such a joyful time for our little love who adores his daddy and wants to be by his side for every activity, daily task and new discovery.  In anticipation of daddy returning to work yesterday and the transition to being just momma and little love together again during the day, I planned a special trip to Binder Park Zoo yesterday.  It was such a gorgeous day, 75 degrees and sunshine! I couldn't have asked for a better zoo adventure with my little love.  We had a great time and I am excited to return in the near future using our new membership!

{Tuesday's 10}
Ten animals we viewed at the Binder Zoo

 The Binder Park Zoo has a pretty extensive collection of birds to view. We were able to see the bald eagles, macaws, and peacocks during our visit yesterday.  The peacocks have free roam of the zoo and always entertain with their calls.  Yesterday was the first time I have ever viewed a white peacocks.  It was very pretty! 
Unfortunately the walk-through aviary experience was closed yesterday due to the weather conditions.
Little love was pretty disappointed we would not be viewing the birds in the aviary.  He has a fondness of birds and really enjoys using his binoculars to watch them on our bird feeder at home. Last week at Animal Kingdom, we attended the Flights of Wonder show that featured a macaw and Little Love showed much enthusiasm today when he saw one at the zoo and said "remember at Disney World?"  We are definitely looking forward to our next visit and the opportunity to see the birds in all their glory!  

 Little love and I enjoyed our time in the Conservation Discovery Center building.  We had only ever been at the Binder Park Zoo once before and had never explored the Conservation Discovery Center.  While the zoo does not have elephants on exhibit, they do  have this replica. C loved being able to touch the elephant and upon viewing the photo above he responded, "woah, that elephant very big!"  The Discovery Center also had some hands-on learning including the sounds of frogs found in Michigan as well as neighborhood bird calls which was a highlight for little love.  He also thought the Panamanian golden frogs were pretty cool.

Oh, my boy who is beginning to grow fearless! You know, the one that is trying to climb over fences to get closer because he wants to pet the bull.  And the one that spots a snake on the walking path.  He wanted me to pick it up so he could touch it. We will save that for your granddad who previously held a Gardner snake at our house so C could touch it.

Let's just say the black bears at Binder Zoo were by far the most active exhibit I have ever witnessed of bears.  We had so much fun watching them interact and play.  After filming the video above, the bears began to chase each other up and down the wooden fort and then one went over to the water basin and took a bath.  Quite entertaining!  

Here is some information about the black bears shared on the zoo's Facebook page by Betsy Shotwell a zookeeper at Binder Park Zoo:

Three black bears—two males and one female—call Binder Park Zoo home! Achak, Koko, and Taima are all siblings and the keepers distinguish each of them by the white markings on their chests. In early 2012 they arrived at the Zoo, after they were orphaned in the wild and were too young to care for themselves. They are estimated to be around two years old. In the wild black bears can live up to 31 years, but in captivity they can live into their 40’s. They are fed three times a day and are given the option of a specially formulated kibble, fruit, vegetable, vitamin enriched ground meat, and sometimes smelt. The keepers usually scatter their diet so the bears have to search for their food, as they would in the wild. This promotes natural behaviors to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Special treats they get on occasion are nuts in the shell, bugs, and honey! They can be found in their new exhibit at the Zoo wrestling each other or chasing one another up and down the trees. Once they are all tired they will go soak in their water tub or lounge around in the shade together.
And last but not least, little love's favorite exhibit at the zoo, the Twiga Overlook where you can feed the giraffes! Surprisingly when we arrived at the Overlook there were no giraffes at the fence.  The lady selling the romaine lettuce said that a school group had just departed and they were quite noisy and the giraffes fled the area.  I told C if he was really patient that we could wait for one to come over.  We indeed had to wait about ten minutes but CeCe made her way over to eat some romaine lettuce.  We let everyone else waiting take their turn and then C got to be up close with CeCe and no one else was in his way or trying to feed her.  He was delighted!
I also found the following information on the Binder Park Zoo Facebook page written by Betsy Shotwell a zookeeper at Binder Park Zoo:

This week's Animal of the Week is the reticulated giraffe. Did you know there are nine different subspecies of giraffe found in Africa? Binder Park Zoo currently houses a herd of seven reticulated giraffe. All of which stay at the Zoo year round. When it is too cold outside (below 60) the herd stays nice and cozy inside a large heated barn. The herd is comprised of giraffe ranging in age from one year to nineteen years old! In the wild, giraffe can live up to 25 years and even longer in captivity. Giraffe are the tallest land mammal, reaching heights of up to 19 feet! Even though giraffe have such long necks, they have the same number of cervical vertebrae as humans! However, their vertebrae are each about 10 inches in length. Their blackish blue colored tongues are 18 to 20 inches long and the color helps to prevent sunburn while foraging for leaves all day. Also, their tongues are covered in thick saliva and papillae because their favorite browse, Acacia trees, are covered in long thorns. At the Zoo they are fed a specially formulated grain diet, hay, and all the romaine lettuce they can eat at Twiga Overlook. The unique coat pattern found on all giraffe helps to camouflage and allow for heat dispersion. All giraffe have two horns that are called ossicones. They are different from other horns because they are made up of ossified cartilage that is covered in a layer of skin. Currently, it is estimated that less than 5,000 reticulated giraffe remain in the wild today, but are still listed as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Join us on June 21, 2014 to help celebrate the first ever World Giraffe Day and learn more about how you can help the conservation of this amazing animal!

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